Thursday, October 31, 2013

30 Days of Remembrance- Day 3 - James Sandeman Cunningham

From the website: Photo of James Cunningham – Photo taken from A Short History and Photographic Record of the 73rd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Royal Highlanders of Canada Page 20. I don't think there are copyright issues with this publication

In memory of
James Sandeman Cunningham
who died on October 31, 1916 

Military Service:

Service Number: 132009
Age: 31
Force: Army
Unit: Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment)
Division: 73rd Bn.

Additional Information:

Son of James and Anna Fraser Sandeman Cunningham, of Argyll Lodge, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland.
Grave Reference:
VI. D. 23.
Commemorated on Page 73 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.

Unlike the previous soldiers, there is a bit of additional information on James Cunningham's Memorial entry, including the photo. With no birth date listed however, I wasn't able to locate any additional info from Ancestry so I again used the Soldiers of the First World War to get a copy of James Cunningham's attestation papers

From this I learned that he was born in Broughty Ferry, Scotland. I used Scotland's People to find his birth registration (it cost me 6 credits, I could have tried to find it for free on Family Search but I like to have copy of the actual document).

The other useful thing I found from James' attestation papers is that he was a chartered accountant. This proved helpful in finding a record showing one James Cunningham, accountant, who crossed the Canadian border at St Albans Vermont in 1913. His address of residence is given as Montreal, Quebec. I was unable to find anything definite to show when James originally immigrated to Canada but his attestation papers show that he joined the Canadian Army on July 31, 1915, in Montreal. He was unmarried so his father James Cunningham of Argylle Lodge, St Andrews, Scotland  is listed as his next of kin.

The curious thing for me is why James opted to join the Canadian forces instead of the British other than his location at the time. There's no indication of citizen requirements on the attestation forms that I've seen, only an oath swearing allegiance to King George the 5th.

James Sandeman Cunningham was killed in action Oct 31 1916, near Somme, France.


  1. Wow! You are giving yourself a lot of trouble...But I guess for someone who likes genealogy it's another challenge.

    I have a younger cousin who asked me some questions about our grand-parents so maybe I'll start researches on my mother's side of the family. It will be my winter project, I guess.

  2. Genealogy is a great winter project! Let me know if I can help with anything.